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FILTER Issue 44

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: Strength in Absence
On stands May 27, 2011

 

FILTER Issue 44

There is an effect Explosions in the Sky have; let’s call it the Effusion Effect. A song opens like a scene, and there you are: its star. As the song builds and crests, no matter the activity you are engaged in, you are the protagonist. Each gesture is laden with meaning, each movement is imbued with the utmost of importance. Doing one’s laundry becomes an epic, turning off the television a pivot in the life course. “We get that a lot!” smiles drummer Chris Hrasky when the Effusion Effect is suggested as a resulting phenomenon of the music Explosions in the Sky create, the manner in which they soundtrack the lives of their listeners. “We make getting the mail seem like an adventure. And that’s awesome, that we can do that for people, that it can be that for people.” In a sense, the band makes people stars of their own lives—something the reality television industry, 20th century therapy and a multi-billion psychopharmacology business have been attempting for decades, Explosions can accomplish in under seven minutes. In the space left where words might have been, listeners can project circumstances onto the screens of songs, and out spool vast emotional lives.

Here, the Texas foursome take us on a stellar journey through the unspoken adventures of their music, from Friday Night Lights to the new album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care and the friendships that have kept them together over a span of 12 years. And to round it out, instrumental heavyweights Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, Warren Ellis of Dirty Three and Doug McCombs of Tortoise pick up the mic to weigh in on the power of wordless music.

Also in Issue 44, you will discover the deeply personal statement that is Bon Iver as we explore Justin Vernon’s journey from For Emma, Forever Ago to the new Bon Iver and the everlasting happiness he hopes to find along the way. We pay tribute to Oscar-winning composer/singer-songwriter Randy Newman and his life of writing some of the most honest pop songs the world has ever heard; from favorites like “I Love L.A.” and “Short People” to songs like “He Gives Us All His Love” and “Louisiana 1927,” Newman has never failed to deliver the truths he has seen while seated at his piano. We also pair up the experimental rock band Battles with the legendary, eccentric frontman Damo Suzuki (formerly of Can) to talk approaches to improvisational composition and dribble some footballs. And we travel to Poland to look back on the life and work of the recently departed Polish composer Henryk Górecki and his million-selling Third Symphony with the help of his family, close companions and those who knew and were inspired by his work.

In addition, we talk with Mike Mills about the personal story behind his upcoming film, Beginners; travel to Northern California through the art and music of Kyle Field and his band Little Wings; rummage through the hectic rock-and-roll world of Alex Winston; and find a little piece of paradise in the Bahamas on the Bruise Cruise. Check out our Getting To Knows with The Head And The Heart, Gang Gang Dance, Cults and Foster the People; and make a stop over to our You Should Already Know with David Bazan. And be sure to finish your travels with our EndNote from Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon; you might even make a million dollars while you’re at it.

COVER

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: Strength in Absence
 
FEATURES

The Stuff We Do In Our Heads: The Films of MIKE MILLS
 
This Is Axiom: At Home in BON IVER
 
BATTLES vs. Can The Infinite Wisdom of DAMO SUZUKI
 
Eddying in the Tides: The Art and Music of KYLE FIELD
 
F-STOP

ALEX WINSTON: Rock City
 
TRIBUTE

Sixth Street, U.S.A.: RANDY NEWMAN’s America
 
The Perfect Storm: A Look Back at HENRYK GÓRECKI's Third Symphony
 
SOUND ESCAPES

Forward, Onward, Upward Together: The BRUISE CRUISE Takes The Bahamas
 
GETTING TO KNOW

THE HEAD AND THE HEART   
GANG GANG DANCE
CULTS
FOSTER THE PEOPLE

 
YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW

DAVID BAZAN
 
REVIEWS

CD REVIEWS
DVD DEBRIS

 
ENDNOTE

by ROBERT BEN GARANT and THOMAS LENNON

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